Family Chelydridae (Snapping turtles)


This family includes two species, both of which occur North America. The alligator snapping turtle lives in the Southern United States and is the largest fresh water turtle in North America, reaching a maximum weight of 113 kg! Only the common snapping turtle occurs in Canada.

Members of this family have big heads, powerful jaws, long tails, and a shield-like carapace. They live in aquatic conditions, feeding on plants and animals. The plastron is reduced, and the bridge between the plastron and carapace is narrow. Members of this family range from Canada to South America.

One species occurs in Canada:
Common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)